John DeFrancis, *The Chinese. Language: Fact and Fantasy*. (Honolulu: University of Hawaii. Press, ). Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7. The Chinese Language has 65 ratings and 11 reviews. Christopher said: THE CHINESE LANGUAGE: Fact and Fantasy, by the legendary pedagogue of. title: The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy author: DeFrancis, John. publisher: University of Hawaii Press isbn10 | asin: print isbn

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An Aborted Syllabary of Signs This syllabary representing the basic syllables of Standard Chinese is based on the Soothill Syllabary with additions to fill in his gaps see discussion on pages 97 This form of spoken Chinese had about the same role in China as the speech of educated Parisians in France.

This myth derives much of its currency from the confusion of speech and writing. It also requires sharp and specific criticism of the myths and their perpetrators. Chen, University of California, San Diego If devrancis readers are lured by the title of this book to expect detailed discussion of the syntax, semantics, or phonology of Chinese, they will be disappointed: Chinois langue — Chine.

The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy by John DeFrancis

Guoyu was imposed on this non-Mandarin majority as the only language of education. The basic semantic value of this character is “two”; it also has the derived meaning fhe in some usages. The Japanese member of the committee proposed instead that they follow the precedent initiated by his own countrymen in the evolution of their writing system. Thus a Chinese character meaning “to kill” was taken over into Japanese as seti in the “go’on” pronunciation of the Shanghai area in the third to sixth centuries and as satu in the “kan’on” pronunciation of Northwest China in the seventh to tenth centuries;6 in addition to these pronunciations in Chinese loanwords it was also used to represent the stem of the purely Japanese word korosu for “to kill.

Generalizations about spoken Chinese can be exceedingly misleading when carelessly fzct without qualification. In contrast to English, which is a sentence-oriented language, what might be considered defrxncis or deletions are much more common in Chinese, which is context-oriented.

The million or so people belonging to the Putonghua linguistic community comprise by far the largest group of people in the world who speak the same language. Neither group can converse with the other, and the speakers who can serve as linguistic intermediaries between the two represent a relatively insignificant number.

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Degrancis and Fantasy, by the legendary pedagogue of Chinese John DeFrancis, is an imprecisely titled book. Overall, for a native speaker of English, learning to speak Chinese is not much more difficult than learning to speak French.

The Chinese language : fact and fantasy (eBook, ) []

Although linguists frown on the practice of describing a language by noting features of another language that it does not have, for speakers of English it may be useful to note that Chinese can get along quite happily without our obligatory indication of tense. Bundles of isoglosses are used to delimit boundaries between dialects or other linguistic groups. They had improved upon the Japanese reduced-character syllabary, however, by producing, as long ago as the middle of the fifteenth century, a completely new set of phonetic more properly, phonemic symbols called hangul that took the further step of representing the basic units of sound.

Please create a new list with a new name; move some items to a new or existing list; or delete some items. In thinking about the Chinese language we must avoid this confusion by clearly specifying what we have in mind. The difference in pronunciation between, for example, the p in “spy” and the p in “pie” does not make for a difference in meaning in English.

Chinese characters constitute a system of writing so obviously different in appearance from Western scripts as to arouse wonderment about their precise nature and, as it were, their modus operandi. In English the varieties of spoken Chinese are usually referred to as “dialects. Each person within this huge linguistic community has his own idiolect or particular way of speaking that distinguishes him in certain details from every other speaker.

Dec 17, Jeremy rated it it was amazing. Among other things they indicate whether or not a verbal action is continuous or has ever been experienced. He cited the fact that the Chinese characters had functioned successfully, for more centuries than the upstart nations of the West could boast in their histories, as the basis for the writing systems of such disparate languages as “isolating, 2 monosyllabic” Chinese and Vietnamese and “agglutinative, polysyllabic” Korean and Japanese. A really thorough presentation such as that contained in Y.

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This approach was somewhat as if an American using the Latin alphabet and composing in Latin were to write “John amat Mary, sed Mary non amat John.

The meaning of these figures when seen in isolation might be guessed at but could be known with assurance only by being learned. Chinese language — Langusge aspects. From this point of view the term “dialect” is unsatisfactory.

This has indeed happened to Chinese on a scale that appears to exceed that for any other form of human communication. The specific solutions arrived at by the Chinese in representing the sounds of their language are all solidly based on both theoretical and practical considerations and add up to a system that does an excellent job of representing Chinese speech. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. In case of need we could narrow our model to the idiolect or individual speech of a specific person.

The road he took was the very road of China’s new national culture. Chao, a phonetician and all- around linguist of note, as a member of a group of scholars concerned with language standardization made some phonograph recordings of his own speech as a help in fixing the norm.

Your Web browser is not enabled for JavaScript. Differences in Chinese speech are most pronounced at the lower social level. He noted that after a stage of exclusive use of classical Chinese as the instrument of written communication, the Vietnamese began to use Chinese characters chiefly for their phonetic value to represent the words of Vietnamese, and toward this end they even coined new characters that more or less resembled traditional characters but were unintelligible to Chinese readers.

The number of speakers who can converse with speakers from Shanghai is about 85 million.

The Chinese language : fact and fantasy

The latter have been added on the right. The ethnic minorities speak non-Chinese languages, except for the approximately six-and-a-half million Chinese-speaking Moslems of the Hui nationality.

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Write a review Rate this item: Bram rated it really liked it Aug 15, But just how are the Chinese characters constructed?